Scholarship Award Alumni - Angela Kimber


Angela Kimber

University of Washington
Chemical Engineering
Bachelor of Science - 2017
2016 USRA Scholarship Winner

Angela's parents often remind her of her early fascination and the "big questions" she would ask about space and science as a child. As a chemical engineering student, she feels she has been fortunate to contribute towards research that allows her to seek those answers and develop new ways of attaining knowledge about our place in the solar system.

Angela has worked within several departments at the University of Washington (UW) to stay at the forefront of that research. Within the Advanced Propulsion Laboratory, she has focused on characterization of materials and fuels for the UW CubeSat Team's pulsed plasma thruster (PPT) propulsion system. Across campus in the Aerospace Engineering Research Laboratory, she characterizes flow with high viscosity propellants for microthruster applications. Her long-term goal includes designing electron ion spray devices with electric augmentation for small satellite applications. With this research, she hopes to advance dual-mode propulsion systems to make interplanetary space exploration and celestial body sample collection more efficient, affordable, and above all, mission viable.

Outside of research, Angela is an active volunteer through Northwest Earth and Space Science Pipeline (NESSP), where she teaches rocketry and space fundamentals to K-12 youth within underserved communities. As the Mentorship Director and founding member of the University's first Women in Chemical Engineering (WChE) organization, she develops and facilitates peer-led mentorship circles and networking partnerships for current and newly accepted students within the department. Mentorship has influenced much of her academic success thus far, and Angela thoroughly enjoys inspiring students of all ages, particularly women and underrepresented minorities.

After graduation from UW, Angela will be a graduate student at the University of Michigan's Aerospace Engineering Program to work in the Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory.

Her advice to future USRA applicants would be "to give your time and efforts towards outreach and mentorship. These avenues provided me the chance to learn how to effectively advocate for others and myself, and gave me a great opportunity to grow my network."

When she's not in the lab or participating in outreach, she enjoys spending time with her daughter doing science projects, reading, or enjoying the beautiful Washington outdoors.